It's taken them nearly 30 years, but The Pharaohs are finally back at world football's top table.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah sent millions of his countrymen and women into a frenzy by scoring from a penalty kick against Republic of Congo deep into injury time on Sunday (8 October) – putting Egypt in the 2018 Russia World Cup.

It was way back in 1990 when Egypt last featured in a World Cup. They dropped out of the group stages, having lost one-nil to an England team managed by Sir Bobby Robson.

And what the long wait meant to the nearly 100 million Egyptians was summed up superbly by one fan's spectacular celebration.

Pictured after his country had beaten Congo 2-1, the one-legged Egyptian can be seen lifting himself upside down on crutches, having stormed the pitch at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria.

The image was tweeted by Italian sports reporter Tancredi Palmeri and quickly went viral online, being shared by thousands of people.

He wrote alongside: "Picture of the year? Football gives wings to who doesn't have legs."

Egypt's qualification unleashed joy across a football-mad country used to bitter disappointment when trying to qualify for one of the world's biggest sporting events.

The win sent hundreds of thousands of fans across Egypt celebrating in the streets, honking car horns and waving the country's red, white and black flags. In Cairo, an army helicopter dropped hundreds of Egyptian flags on thousands of fans gathered at the city's iconic Tahrir square.

Egypt was the second African country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, after Nigeria clinched its place on Saturday. The other three African qualifiers will be decided in the final qualifying games next month.

Salah thought he had won it for Egypt with his first goal in the 63rd minute. But Egypt was stunned by a ferocious volley by Republic of Congo substitute Arnold Bouka Moutou to level the scores in the 86th.

Egypt substitute Mahmoud Hassan was brought down in the box two minutes into injury time and Salah, Egypt's star player, clinched victory from the spot.

The game was held in front of a capacity crowd of 30,000 at a military stadium in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, a reminder of the political turmoil Egypt has endured over the last six years.

That turmoil affected the football team, too, with the record seven-time African champion failing to qualify for three straight Africa Cup of Nations from 2012-2015 before making a return this year. Argentine coach Hector Cuper led Egypt to the ACoN final in February on that return, where they lost to Cameroon.

The World Cup qualification was Cuper's greatest achievement, though. Egypt, an African giant and founding member of the Confederation of African Football, has only played at two World Cups before — in 1934 and 1990.

Egypt will now finish top of Group E, making sure of its place at the World Cup with a game to spare – against Ghana next month.